How to bet the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap
Champion #2 Whitmore (9-5) will aim for his fourth victory in the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) on Saturday when leading a field of seven postward at Oaklawn Park. The local living-legend has compiled a superb 15-9-5-1 mark at the Hot Springs, Arkansas venue, and the son of Pleasantly Perfect enters off of a fine runner-up try in the recent Hot Springs S. on the oval. He’s my pick to win and add to his phenomenal Oaklawn legacy.
Count Fleet Analysis
#1 No Parole (9-2) is rarely beaten out of the gate and figures to clear the cast early on beneath Ramon Vazquez. The Cajun-bred is a Grade 1 winner who dominated allowance foes at Oaklawn Park last spring. Trained by Tom Amoss, the bay son of Violence burned a lot of money in a failed turf try at Fair Grounds most recently, but I feel that the race was a good prep for the Count Fleet. He has upset potential if he is left alone for too long on the backside.
#4 Strike Power (5-1), Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) fourth #5 Empire of Gold (8-1), and King Cotton S. third #7 Mr. Jagermeister (12-1) will also be flashing speed from the gate, but chasing No Parole early can prove to be a futile tactic on Saturday. I expect the trio to force fast splits, but for each to retreat inside the final furlong. #3 Mojo Man (8-1) will be next behind the leaders, and while he impressed with an allowance win in the slop last time, he has yet to show that he can run with this kind.
The best two late runners in the heat are the mighty Whitmore and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) runner-up #6 C Z Rocket (2-1). The latter went last-to-first to annex the Hot Springs last time out, and he can surely challenge late with his best performance. I have concerns he could regress after running such a big race off the layoff, though. And he can surely receive a wide voyage, as well. At an expected short price, playing against C Z Rocket in the top slot is a good move in my opinion.
Count Fleet Wagers
- $25 exacta: 2 with 1 ($25)
- $3 superfecta part-wheel: 1,2 with 1,2 with 6 with all ($24)
- $.50-cent trifecta part-wheel: 1,2 with 1,2 with all ($10)